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PARKINSON BACKING HIS PLAYERS TO RISE TO THE OCCASION

14 May 2016

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson says his players should really embrace the occasion this Sunday when City play host to Millwall at the Coral Windows Stadium in the eagerly-anticipated first leg of their Play-Off semi-final.

After over 20,000 home fans saw City finish their regular league fixtures for the season with a routine victory over Chesterfield last Sunday, another bumper crowd is expected inside Valley Parade this weekend.

Parkinson knows his squad will be highly motivated going into Sunday's encounter with Millwall and ready to produce again on the big stage.

The City chief said: "The lads have been waiting all week for this game to come around. They are all excited to be involved in these Play-Off fixtures.

"We have worked really hard all season to get into this position and we are relishing the challenge that lays ahead of us now.

"The players are really enjoying playing at home, they have done all season. Our fans have tremendous with their backing and we have to really crank up that atmosphere once again come Sunday.

"I'm sure the lads will be looking forward to this one. 

"We have players within the squad who have played in front of full-houses before with us over the last three or four years, people like (Stephen) Darby, Mezza (James Meredith), (Rory) McArdle and James Hanson. 

"We also have a lot of players who will have experienced these sort of occasions before at previous clubs, and it is about concentrating on the factors we have done well all season and taking them into this game.

"As a group and as individuals, we have to remember what we have done well this season and then reproduce it again. The players within the group understand that.

"The good players relish the big occasions and that is what I am expecting us to do again."

Sunday's opening leg will be City's third encounter with the Lions this season following a goalless draw at the The Den back in October and narrow 1-0 home win for the Bantams on Easter Saturday.

Millwall go into this weekend's game having won their last four games, with City claiming victories in their last three matches of the regular league campaign.

Parkinson added: "All four teams, including ourselves and Millwall, go into this year's Play-Offs in good form.

"Both sides were very evenly-matched over the two games, we obviously just edged the home match.

"It will be all about which team now can produce their best form over these next two games.

"We have to do everything we can to make sure it is us."

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